Note: this is the first entry in a two-part tutorial. You can read the second part here.
Yalla makes you more productive. We use it every day at our sister company, the digital marketing firm Lemonade Stand. It’s helpful in all kinds of situations, but we just recently discovered a new use for Yalla we wanted to share. We’ll describe how you can use Yalla to automate your agency’s monthly business.
John, our VP of marketing, maintains a master client list for Lemonade Stand. This list contains information like which services we provide clients, the team member who manages each account and how much they pay us every month.
With some help from the masterminds at Zapier, John figured out a way to turn the list into a Yalla productivity machine. On the first of every month, the client list creates a “monthly maintenance” priority for the client based on what services we provide them. It sends that priority to the client’s account manager, so the appropriate Lemonade Stand team member knows what they need to get done for the month. This makes it impossible for little things to slip through the cracks, which makes us even better at pleasing clients.
It gets better. Because he tied a form on the Lemonade Stand website to the master client spreadsheet, John never has to add new clients to it again. With a little effort, he created a self-sufficient workflow that keeps all of us organized.
Here’s how the process goes:
1. Sales person fills out form listing what services the client signed up for and how much they’ll pay
2. Form creates a new entry on the master client list, filling it in with all the above info
3. At the beginning of each month, client list assigns priorities to each client’s account manager based on the services they pay for
4. Account managers perform monthly services
5. Time is saved, things don’t slip through the cracks, everyone is happy, and no perceived indifference.
This is the subject of our next Yalla tutorial, which is split into two parts. Today I’m going to show you how to dynamically build a client roster with all the information your business needs. Next time we’ll walk through harnessing that roster to parcel out work to account managers on a regular basis. You’ll need a site running WordPress and a paid Gravity Forms developer license for part one. Everything else relies on free services – so you can certainly adapt part two to fit a client list you built by hand instead.
Starting the client roster/intake form
First we’re going to create our client roster. Open up Google Sheets, create a blank spreadsheet and start filling it with the information you’ll need. We’re going to automatically fill this sheet out based on form entries, but I entered one example client by hand to break down the information we’ll collect.
A. Client: The client’s name
B. Active?: Whether we’re currently serving the client
C. Active Month: The most recent month serving the client, used to tell Yalla when to send out priorities.
D. Monthly Payment: How much the client pays per month.
E. Acct Mgr: The person responsible for making sure we perform our monthly services for the client.
F. Acct Mgr Yalla: The unique user ID for the account manager’s Yalla profile. Don’t worry, in part two I’ll show you how to automate this so you don’t have to fill it in every time.
G. Client Yalla: The unique client ID for the client’s Yalla profile. The sales person enters this when they fill out the online form.
H-L. Services: Whether we provide a given service for the client. These are used to build the monthly priorities for account managers.
This is a simplified roster for demonstration purposes. Tweak and add to/subtract from it until it fits your needs.
Now that we know what information we want about the client, we have to set up a way to collect it. The Lemonade Stand website runs on WordPress and uses Gravity Forms. I won’t walk through how to create a Gravity form in this tutorial, but it’s very easy to do using their documentation. You’ll just need fields for each of the data points you want in your client roster.
Alright, now I have a very simple example form that my sales people would fill out upon securing a new client. Note that the form assumes they’ve already created a client page in Yalla; you can check out our training guide if you’re unsure how to do that.
Setting up Zapier
As mentioned above, we’ll be using the magic of Zapier to make our apps talk to each other. Head on over there and sign up for an account if you don’t already have one. Click the orange “Make a Zap!” button to get started.
Choose Gravity Forms for your trigger app – the one Zapier will watch for changes. Click through until it asks you to test Gravity Forms. Follow their instructions to tie Zapier to Gravity Forms. (You’ll head to your form in the back end of WordPress, click “Settings,” then “Zapier,” and enter the URL Zapier gave you.)
You’ll want to host the form on your site and submit an entry so Zapier has something to pull from. Do that, then flip back over to Zapier and click “OK, I did this.” It should pull the form submission; click the orange “Continue” button to move on.
Time to tell Zapier what to do with the form submissions it gets. Choose Google Sheets as your action app, and “Create Spreadsheet Row” as the action. You’ll have to grant Zapier access to your Google Sheets account if you haven’t already done so.
Click through until you hit the “Set Up Google Sheets Spreadsheet Row” page. Select the appropriate spreadsheet and worksheet (unless you changed the name of the worksheet, it’ll be Sheet1).
The page should populate with all the cells from your client roster. Click the box next to each field and add the corresponding data point from Gravity Forms.
Click “Continue,” then review the spreadsheet entry Zapier wants to create. If it all looks good, you can click “Create and Continue” to move on.
Yep, looks good. All the fields I told Zapier to pull from copied successfully to my client roster. Head back to Zapier, click “Finish” and name your Zap and turn it on.
We now have an agency-wide client roster that automatically updates every time a sales person fills out our new client form. This is useful in its own right for internal budgeting and management purposes. But it’s only the first half of our automation process. Stay tuned for next time, when I’ll show you how to use the client roster as a productivity machine.